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1 




PSYCH. 
UBRAm 



A 



THE GREATEST THING 
EVER KNOWN 



By RALPH WALDO TRINE. 



'* The Life Books:' 

I know of nothing in the entire range of 
literature more calculated to inspire the young 
than the •' Life Books," and to renew the soul 
in young and old. — From a Reader. 



WHAT ALL THE WORLD'S A-SEEKING. 

IN TUNE WITH THE INFINITE; or, Fulness of 
Peace, Power, and Plenty. 

The ''Life'' Booklets. 
THE GREATEST THING EVER KNOWN. 
EVERY LIVING CREATURE. 
CHARACTER-BUILDING THOUGHT POWER. 



THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO., 

NEW YORK. 



THE GREATEST THING 
EVER KNOWN 

By 
RALPH WALDO TRINE 



The moment we fully 
and vita lly realize 

WHO AND WHAT WE 

ARE, we then begin to 
build our own world 
even as God builds His 



OF THE 



OF 






NEW YORK 
THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO. 

PUBLISHERS 






auc. 

WYCH. 
UBfiAiOr 



Copyright, 1S9S, 
By Ralph Waldo Trine 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

I. The Greatest Thing Ever Known i 

II. Divine Energies in Every-day Life 20 

III. The Master's Great but Lost Gift ^8 

IV. The Philosopher's Ripest Life 

Thought 58 

V. Sustained in Peace and Safety 

Forever 72 



175160 






OF 

OR' 



THE GREATEST THING 
EVER KNOWN 



'T^HE greatest thing ever known — What is 
it? Full surely the answer must be 
one that is absolutely universal, both in its 
nature and in the possibilities of its applica- 
tion. It must be one that can be accepted 
wholly and unreservedly, not only by a 
single individual, but even by bodies of 
individuals, be they the originators of any 
particular school of Ethics, the followers of 
any particular system of Philosophy, or 
even the adherents of any great system of 
Religion. It must be one so true in itself 
that it can be accepted by all men alike the 
world over. 

And again, it must be an answer that is 
true for no particular period of time, but 
equally true for all time — an answer that 
was true not only for yesterday, that is true 
for to-day, that may be true for to-morrow, 

A 



2 THE GREATEST THING 

but one equally true for yesterday, to-day, 
and forever. In laying our foundation, 
therefore, it must be laid upon something 
as true and as certain as Life itself, and as 
eternal as Everlasting Life. 

What is as true and as certain as Life itself? 
Life, only Life. And what do we mean by 
this answer ? Let us give it for a moment 
our most careful consideration, for upon 
what we find here depends and rests all 
that is to follow. Let us start, then, with 
that in regard to which all can agree ; some- 
thing taken not from mere tradition, from 
mere hearsay, but something that comes to 
us from no source other than our own 
interior consciousness, our own reason and 
insight. In other words, let us make our 
approach, not from the theological stand- 
point, but from that which is far more 
certain and satisfactory — the philosophical. 

Then, and then only, will we allow pure 
reason to be our guide, and then by having 
as the earnest desire of both mind and heart, 
truth, truth for its own sake, and then for 
the sake of its influence upon every-day life, 
we will thus allow pure reason to be illumined 
by the Light that lighteth every man that 



EVER KNOWN 3 

Cometh into the world. In the degree that 
we open ourselves to and are true to this are 
we on sure and safe ground, for thus are we 
going directly to the source and the only 
source of all true revelation. In the degree, 
on the other hand, that we close ourselves or 
become untrue to this are we on uncertain 
and dangerous ground, and liable to find our- 
selves hopelessly floundering in the quagmire 
of theological traditions and speculations and 
doubts, of which the world has already seen 
so much. Pure reason, therefore, shall be 
our guide — pure reason illumined by the 
Inner Light. 

Again, then, What is Life ? Being is Life. 
Life is Being. Being, therefore, is our start- 
ing-point, and indeed our very foundation 
itself. 

Each can form his own idea of Being, so 
that in reality it needs no defining. By it 
we mean that self-existent principle of Life 
and all that attends it, without beginning 
and without end, the Power that animates 
all and so that is the Life of all. In short, 
we can scarcely define Being, if indeed it 
can be defined, without using the word Life, 
and indeed without identifying the two. 



4 THE GREATEST THING 

Being and Life, then, are one and the 
same. 

It is Being that projects itself into 
ex-istence. Being, acting through its own 
intelligence, prompted by love, projected by 
will, goes out and takes form. We cannot 
say that it enters into form, for until it pro- 
jects itself into existence there is no form^ 
but form comes by virtue of Being, the self- 
existent Principle of Life and Power mani- 
festing itself in existence. So in a sense 
Life, which is one with Being, is the soul, 
and form, of whatever nature the body. 

Only as Being projects itself into exist- 
ence are we able to know it. We can know 
the fact that Being is^ but only as it mani- 
fests itself in form are we able to know it 
itself. 

Being is 07ie^ not many. As Being is the 
source of all Life, there is, then, only one Life, 
and this Being is the Life of all. " The one 
Divine Being; and this alone is the true 
Reality in all Existence, and so remains in 
all Eternity." And there is nothing real 
that is, or, indeed, that can be, outside of it. 
True, then, are the words of one of the most 
highly illumined philosophers of modern 



EVER KNOWN 5 

times — " Thus we have these two elements : 
Being, as it is essentially and in itself; and 
Form, which is assumed by the former in 
consequence of Existence. But how have 
we expressed ourselves? What is it that 
assumes a form ? Answer : Being, as it 
exists in itself, without any change what- 
ever in its inward. Essential Nature. But 
what, then, is there in Existence ? Answer : 
Nothing else than the One Eternal and 
Unchangeable Being, besides which there 
can be nothing." 

This Being which is Infinite is in truth, 
then, the Infinite Being, and this Infinite 
Being is what we mean by God — each using 
the term that appeals most to himself. 
Literally, • the I Am, as is signified by the 
name Jehovah, which is derived in the 
Hebrew from the word To Be. God, then, 
is the Infinite Being, the Infinite Spirit of 
Life which fills all in existence with himself 
alone, so that all is He, since He is All. If 
God is all, then all must be He, and from 
this fact there is no escape, and no other 
conclusion can be arrived at which does not 
do violence to all rational thought. There 
are those — and to such these pages are not 



6 THE GREATEST THING 

addressed, for so limited are they in com- 
prehension, or so closed to truth and hence 
so engrossed in bigotry, that they either can 
or will see nothing that may be opposed to 
their present ideas — there are those who say 
that God is all, and immediately begin to fill 
up the universe with that which God is not. 

Again, there are those open to and eagerly 
seeking for the highest truth who say : But 
evil is not God, and how then can God be 
«//, for surely there is such a thing as evil. 
Certainly evil is not God, nor has God any- 
thing to do with evil. Evil is simply the 
result of the temporary perversion of the 
good, and as such must either cease or in 
time die at its own hands. As such, then, 
it has no esse?itial reality, for that which has 
essential reality has neither beginning nor 
end. 

Man is the only one who has to do with 
evil, he alone is its author ; man, who in his 
thought separates himself from Divine Being, 
in whom alone true happiness and blessed- 
ness can be found. Regarding the mere 
bodily existence as his real life, he tries to 
find pleasure and happiness entirely through 
these channels, and many times by violating 



EVER KNOWN 7 

the higher laws of his being, and thus what 
we term evil enters in. But though man 
has perfect freedom in all his thoughts and 
acts, God will suffer no such violation. And 
so, from the pain and suffering that result 
from the violation of the higher laws of his 
being, he is pushed on in his thought and 
through this in his life to the Reality of his 
being, and finds that only in conscious union 
with God true pleasure and blessedness lie, 
as God surely intends. True, then, evil is 
not God, nor has God anything to do with 
evil; for man alone has to do with it, so 
long, and only so long, as he lives his life 
out of a conscious union with the life of 
God. 

Infinite Being, God, then, is the one and 
the only Life. You and I in our true selves 
are Life. It cannot be truly said that we 
have life, for we are Life; Life th^t mani- 
fests itself in the form in existence that we 
denominate by the term body. And as the 
Infinite Being, the Infinite Life, God, is the 
I Am, the life of all in existence, then we 
indeed are parts of the Infinite Being, the 
Infinite Life, the I Am, of the very God 
himself. And thus it is that your life and 



8 THE GREATEST THING 

mine is one with the life of God. By this 
we do not mean the mere body, but the 
Real Self that takes to itself the form — 
body. It is utterly impossible that there 
be any real life that is not one with the 
life of God. And in this sense it is true 
that the life of man and the life of God 
are essentially and necessarily one and the 
same. In essence they are one and the 
same; they differ not in quality, for this it 
is impossible rationally even to conceive of. 
There is a difference — it is a difference 
simply in degree^ not in essence or kind. 
It is only by reason of our own thought 
that our life is separate from the life of 
God, only by reason of our own thought 
that we live in this separation, if indeed 
we can use the term live where the full 
life is not consciously realised and enjoyed. 
Truly, then, " In Him we live and move 
and have our being." 

We never could have been, and never can 
be, other than Divine Being. And I fully 
agree with the thought expressed in a recent 
letter from Prof. Max Miiller in which 
he says : " I cannot accept Athanasius 
when he says that we can become gods; 



EVER KNOWN 9 

man cannot say, become God, because he 
is God; what else could he be, if God is 
the only true and real being?" 

How is it, then, I hear it asked, that 
man has the limitations that he has, that 
he is subject to fears and forebodings, that 
he is liable to sin and error, that he is the 
victim of disease and suffering? There is 
but one reason. He is not living, except 
in rare cases here and there, in the conscious 
realisation of his own true Being, and hence 
of his own true Self. We must in thought 
be conscious of who and what we are before 
the qualities and powers of our real being, 
and hence our real selves, actualise or even 
manifest themselves. Says one of the most 
highly illumined seers of modern times : 
"The True Life and its Blessedness con- 
sists in a union with the Unchangeable and 
Eternal; but the Eternal can be appre- 
hended 07ily by Thought^ and is in no 
other way approachable by us." 

Thought is the atmosphere, the element, 
in a sense the very substance, of the phase 
of Divine Being that we call human life. 
How much it is likewise that of other 
forms of Divine Being in existence, as we 



lo THE GREATEST THING 

see it in the various manifestations of life 
around us, we cannot be so fully certain 
of. But certain it is that through thought, 
and through thought alone, we are able to 
conceive of Divine Being as the Infinite 
Spirit and Essence of Life, and then to see 
clearly that it is the Life of our Life, and 
then to live in the realisation of our one- 
ness with it, and in this way allow the 
Divine Word to become incarnate in us 
by being thus fully and completely manifest 
in us, precisely as it became manifest and 
hence incarnate in the Christ Jesus, as we 
shall hereafter find. 

When Divine Being manifests itself in 
physical human form, its inward essential 
nature or reality changes not, for this from 
its very nature it is impossible for it in any 
way to do. It does, however, have to mani- 
fest itself through the agency of physical 
senses, and precisely for this reason is it 
that for a time our real inward Essential 
Nature and Life is concealed from us, but 
this again only by reason of our limited 
comprehension. 

When we are born into the world of 
Nature we see and cognise through and by 



EVER KNOWN ii 

means of the physical senses, and the 
natural physical world becomes to us for a 
time the real world. By-and-by, however, 
through these very senses we are able to 
conceive of the One and Eternal Source 
of Life as our real and therefore our only 
life, and then through them to hold our- 
selves in this living realisation. Hence, 
first that which is natural and theii that 
which is spiritual is necessarily as well as 
literally and philosophically true. Happy, 
however, is the man who dwells not long 
as the purely natural man, but is early 
transformed into the spiritual, and so in 
whom the Divine Word early becomes 
incarnate. 

Blessed state indeed, says the thoughtful 
and earnest seeker for the best things in 
life, and more to be prized than all else 
besides; but if this state is really possible 
of realisation, what can be said regarding 
the method of entering into it? There is 
only one thing in all the wide universe 
that will enable you, as well as all the world, 
to do it effectually. " Be ye therefore trans- 
formed by the renewing of your minds." 
This is the force, the transforming power, 



12 THE GREATEST THING 

so far as the form of life we denominate 
by the term human is concerned, this and 
this alone. 

True, then, and most welcome is the 
great fact of facts, of which the world is 
beginning to become so conscious to-day, 
that "The mind is everything; what you 
think, you become." Mortal mind? says 
one. Yes and no. Strictly speaking, there 
is no such thing as mortal mind — there is 
only Divine Mind. When in our own 
thought, and by reason of our limited 
comprehension, we shut ourselves off and 
look upon ourselves as individual physical 
beings, we give birth to a temporary mode 
of thought that might well be termed 
mortal mind, or, rather, the product of 
mortal mind. But it is at first natural, and 
it is only by using this "mortal mind" that 
it is able to be transformed, and hence re- 
newed into the Divine Mind. So by wisely 
using that which we have, the natural, we 
are transformed from that which is most 
apparent, and consequently that which we 
think we are, the mortal, the physical, into 
that which from all eternity we in reality 
are, and never except in our own minds 



EVER KNOWN 13 

can get away from, — the Spiritual, the 
Divine. 

It is through this instrumentality that the 
Divine Life within us, the Divine Life with 
all its ever-ready-to-break-forth glories and 
powers, is enabled to be changed from a 
mere passive and hence potential actuality, 
and to burst forth into the full splendours 
of conscious, active life. Surely, then, 
thought rightly directed and rightly used 
has within it the true regenerating and 
hence redeeming power; through it and it 
alone are we able to make for ourselves a 
new heaven and a new earth, or, rather, by 
thus finding the kingdom of God, and 
through it entering into the conscious 
realisation of the heavenly state, are we 
able to make for ourselves a new earth by 
actualising the kingdom of Heaven in our 
lives while living on the earth, which, when 
once truly realised, can never be lost. 

The majority of people are not awake; it 
is only here and there that we find one 
even partially awake. Practically all of us, 
as a result, are living lives that are unworthy 
almost the name of lives, compared with 
those we might be living, and that lie within 



14 THE GREATEST THING 

our easy grasp. While it is true that each 
life is in and of Divine Being, hence always 
one with it, in order that this great fact may 
bear fruit in individual lives, each one must, 
as we have already said, be conscious of it, 
he must know it in thought, and then live 
continually in this consciousness. 

An eagle has been chained for many 
months to the perch just outside his cage; 
so long has he been conscious of the fact 
that he is bound by the little silver chain 
which holds him, that he has given up all 
efforts to escape, almost forgetting, perhaps, 
that the power of flight is longer his. One 
day a link of the little chain opens, but, 
living so long in the consciousness that he 
is held in captivity, he makes no effort to 
escape. The freedom of the heavens is now 
his, were he only conscious of his power. 
But day after day he sits sullenly longing for 
freedom, but remaining a captive still. One 
morning, however, he ventures a little farther 
out on his perch than usual, when suddenly 
a strange consciousness is his — he sets his 
wings, and the captivity which has held him 
for months will perchance know him no 
more forever. 



EVER KNOWN 15 

And so it is with man. On account of 
the false gods that tradition and prevailing 
theology have brought him he knows not 
himself, and not knowing himself he knows 
neither his powers nor his possibilities. The 
human soul is held captive. An opaque 
physical structure is about all that he can 
be said truly to give evidence of. The day 
comes, however, when in his thought he 
moves out a little farther than is usual, then 
a little farther and a little farther. The 
Inner Light is now moving within, he catches 
at first a little glimpse of his real Essential 
Being, then a little more and a little more, 
and by-and-by the fact of his essential 
oneness with the Infinite Life and Power 
bursts in upon, illumines, and takes posses- 
sion of his soul. In bewilderment, and al- 
most afraid to utter it at first, he cries aloud, 
"O God, I am one with Thee!" Enrap- 
tured by this new consciousness, he holds to 
the thought of this oneness, and living con- 
tinually in this thought his life forever after 
flows steadily on in one constant realisation 
of his oneness with Divine Being. And so 
"the first man, [which] is of the earth 
earthy," is changed into "the second man, 



i6 THE GREATEST THING 

[which] is the Lord from Heaven," and there- 
after the Christ sits enthroned. 

Compared with the new life that he is now 
continually living, the old life of ignorance 
with its consequent limitations, which can 
now know him no more forever, deserved 
only the name of death, for, in a sense, he 
was indeed dead unto life, and only he who 
lives in the conscious realisation of his one- 
ness with the One and Only Life can be said 
truly to be born into Life. He is born into 
the world and lives in the world, but into 
consciously real and eternal Life he has not 
yet entered. He is born the Adam man, 
but within him the Christ man has not 
awakened, or, rather, he has not yet awak- 
ened to the Christ within, and so the Christ 
man is not yet born, and sitting therefore in 
darkness he knows not yet the glorious 
realities of life. 

"I am thine own Spirit" are the words 
that the Infinite Father by means of the 
Inner Voice is continually speaking to every 
human soul. He who will hear can hear, 
and through it step out into fulness of Hfe. 

We hear much in the prevailing crude and 



EVER KNOWN 17 

irrational theology in regard to the " fall of 
man " ; but it is only as man has departed 
from the Inner Light, and gone after false 
man-made gods, that anything that might 
rationally be termed a " fall " has come about. 
Separating our lives in thought from their 
oneness with Divine Life is what constitutes, 
and what alone will ever constitute, the fall 
of man. But the teaching that has come to 
us through past generations, which has as its 
dominant keynote, poor worm and miserable 
sinner, death and the grave, is as false as it 
is pernicious and therefore damnable in its 
influences. These old thoughts and words 
have had the influence of taking heaven out 
of earth and populating the earth with doubt, 
and error, and sin, and crime. New and 
true thoughts and words will make literally 
a new heaven and a new earth. 

Man is essentially Divine, actually part of 
the Infinite God, and so, essentially good. 
When he severs his connection in conscious- 
ness with the Divine, then and then only do 
doubt, and error, and sin, and crime, with 
their consequent pain, suffering, disease, and 
despair, enter into his life. Only a pure and 
radical infidel — by this we mean one who is 

B 



i8 THE GREATEST THING 

in reality such, for there are many who are 
called infidels, even by many avowed re- 
ligionists, who live a far truer religion than 
they themselves live — can rationally hold to 
the doctrine of original sin, with its conse- 
quent poor worm and miserable sinner. The 
religious teacher who professes to believe in 
God as the One Divine and Supreme Being, 
and at the same time holds to this irrational 
doctrine, is many times more a disciple of 
the Devil, whom he recognises and whose 
power he evidently respects, than he is of 
the Infinite God in whom he professes to 
believe. He and he alone it is who finds a 
place for what he and his theology term the 
Devil. The one who truly believes in God 
as the only true and real being and the 
source of all life and power can indeed find 
no place for the Devil. He sees and recog- 
nises the evil that comes from lives that lose 
for a time their conscious connection with 
the Supreme Source of their being, but he 
can find no place for any other essential and 
abiding Reality. 

And as this separation from God is made 
entirely through the instrumentality of the 
mind, he sees that making one's conscious 



EVER KNOWN 19 

connection again with God — the true and 
only true redemption — must also be through 
the instrumentahty of the mind. BeHev- 
ing in the God in whom he beHeves, ay, 
knowing the God whom he knows^ he sees 
no place for an atonement in the sense 
of appeasing the wrath of an angry God. 
Knowing the God whom he knows, he 
shares not in those barbaric notions. He 
does see, however, that redemption can and 
must come through living in the con- 
scious at-one-ment with the Father's life. 
He recognises it as the natural method that 
the Adam man be first born, with freedom of 
thought and consequently freedom of action, 
and that from him the Christ man then 
comes forth into consciousness. He recog- 
nises that it is God's, and consequently 
nature's and evolution's method, that "the 
first man is of the earth earthy, the second 
man is the Lord from heaven." He recog- 
nises the fact that kittens are born blind, not 
because their parents or even their grand- 
parents sinned, but because it is simply 
natural for them to be born blind, and that 
in process of time their eyes will open. He 
also recognises that, on account of our limited 



.r^GiTYJ 



20 THE GREATEST THING 

comprehension, the "natural" appears first 
and then the "spiritual," but in reality the 
spiritual is from the very first incarnated 
within, and only because it is, can it in pro- 
cess of time, either sooner or later, assume 
the ascendency by changing from potential 
into active life. 

Once in a while there comes into the 
world one who from the very first recognises 
no separation of his life from the Father's 
life, and who dwells continually in this living 
realisation ; and by bringing anew to the 
world this great fact, and showing forth the 
works that will always and inevitably follow 
this realisation, he becomes in a sense a 
world's saviour, as did Jesus, who, through 
the completeness of his realisation of the 
Father's life incarnate in him, became the 
Christ Jesus. He in this way pointed out 
to the world how all men can enter into 
the realisation of the Christ-life and thus 
be saved from all impulse to sin. And so 
instead of coming to appease the vengeance 
of an angry God — difficult for one who has 
any adequate conception of God even to 
conceive of — he brought to the world, by 
exemplifying in his own life as well as by 



EVER KNOWN 21 

teaching to all who will hear his real message^ 
the method whereby all of us can enter into 
the full and complete realisation of our one- 
ness with the life of the tender and loving 
Infinite Father. 

Redeemed from the bondage of the senses 
through which alone sin comes, and born 
into the heavenly state, into life eternal, is 
every one who comes into the same relations 
with the Father, and hence into the same 
realisation of his oneness with the Father's 
life, that Jesus came into. It is difficult, 
however, to see how any one will be re- 
deemed from the bondage of sin and enter 
into the heavenly state simply by believing 
that Jesus entered into it while here. No 
amount of believing that he lived the life he 
lived will take any one into the heavenly 
state, but living the life that Jesus lived will 
take every one who lives it there, in any age 
and in any clime, even whether or not he 
knows that such a man as Jesus ever lived. 

The world has less need for a perverted 
and hence perverting doctrine of " vicarious 
atonement " that bodies of men have formu- 
lated by either intentionally or ignorantly 
dragging the teachings, as also the life, of 



22 THE GREATEST THING 

the Master down to a purely material inter- 
pretation — less need, most truly, has the 
world for this perverting doctrine than it 
has for the great vitalising fact of a con- 
scious, living at-one-ment with the Father's 
life, as every one whose spiritual sense is 
at all unfolded will inevitably get from the 
life and teachings of the Master, if indeed 
he is more interested in the real living truth 
that he taught than he is in the almost 
numberless man-made theological theories 
and dogmas regarding it. 

In order that we may ever keep our stand- 
ing ground clearly in mind, let us now gather 
into a single view the substance of what we 
have endeavoured thus far to present. 

From everlasting to everlasting is Being, 
self-existent, without beginning and without 
end. Depending upon nothing outside of 
itself and the essential essence, the very life 
of all that through it comes into existence, 
it is therefore Infinite Being. Existing at 
first as pure spirit, it is therefore Divine 
Being. Literally the I Am, the Divine 
Jehovah, the Infinite God. Then, animated 
by love and acting through its own volition, 



EVER KNOWN 23 

it projects itself into existence and assumes 
the various forms we see in the universe 
about us, including ourselves. But by the 
act of projecting itself into existence, the In- 
finite Divine Being does not change in the 
least its essential inner nature, as indeed it 
would be impossible for it to do. What, 
then, in reality is there in existence? Only 
Divine Being, the Infinite God in all his 
manifold manifestations; and thus it re- 
mains through all eternity, as must neces- 
sarily be from its very nature, and otherwise 
it could not be. God, then, is the Infinite 
Being, the Infinite Spirit which is the 
essential essence, the life of all, which 
therefore fills all the universe with Himself 
alone, so that all is He, since He is all. 

But when Divine Being incarnates itself 
in flesh and forms for its use a physical 
body — a human body, as we call it — it 
necessarily has to manifest through the in- 
strumentality of physical senses, and, though 
Divine Being is infinite, the vision of man 
is limited, and for a time his true inner Life 
(always Divine Being) is concealed from him, 
for he naturally interprets everything from 
the standpoint of the physical. First that 



24 THE GREATEST THING 

which is natural, and man knows himself 
only as a natural physical being, differing 
not essentially from the material universe 
about him. As he looks out, however, he 
sees that he differs from other forms in ex- 
istence, in that he has a mind through which 
thought is engendered, a mind that grows by 
using. Then contemplating himself and 
longing for the truth of his existence, 
gradually there dawns upon his conscious- 
ness the fact that his life is Divine Being, 
that other than this it has never been — except 
in his own mind when in his thought he 
mistook the mere physical form in existence 
as the real essential life itself, thus separating 
his life from the Infinite Divine Life. He 
thus realises that in God he lives, moves, 
and has his being, that God is the life 
of his life, his very life itself; and thus 
he comes in time into the conscious, 
living realisation of his oneness with the 
Infinite Life and Power. And so we find 
it true— first the natural man, then the 
spiritual. 

Through thought, and through thought 
alone, the second man, the Lord from 
Heaven, is gradually evolved out of the 



EVER KNOWN 25 

first man, which is of the earth earthy. 
Through a perfectly natural process of 
evolution, out of the first man Adam — 
sense perception — is evolved the Christ 
man — Divine self-realisation. Impossible, 
however, is it for anything to be evolved 
that was not first involved; and so man 
finds that the Lord Christ has always been 
within and he has known it not. 

It is the same to-day as it was many years 
ago with Jacob when he said, "Surely the 
Lord is in this place; and I knew it not." 
This and all that followed he found simply 
by using the stones of the place where he 
was; for with the stones of the place he 
made for himself a pillow, and it was while 
sleeping on this pillow that he beheld the 
ladder set upon the earth and reaching to 
the heavens, upon which the angels were 
ascending and descending, and thus it was 
that he entered into communion with the 
life of the heavens. Later, then, he trans- 
formed the pillow into a pillar that served 
as a guide to other men. 

And so with every human soul — we must 
use simply the stones of the place where we 
are. The only stones with which human 



26 THE GREATEST THING 

life can build is thought. It and it alone 
is the moulding, the creative power — 
earnest, sincere thought of the place where 
we are, this constitutes the stones of the 
place where we are and with which we 
can make a pillow upon which for the 
time being to rest. Through this and this 
alone will the life of the heavens be 
opened to us ; for angels ascending — 
aspiration — will in time bring to us angels 
descending — inspiration. Then with Jacob 
of old we will cry out, " Behold, the Lord 
is in this place; and I knew it not." 
Then our pillow, the thought that gives 
us the knowledge that the Infinite Divine 
Life is always within, the Essential Essence 
of the human soul itself, we can convert 
into a pillar, a pillar that will be a guide 
to lead other men into the same realisation 
and life. 

And so the entire problem of human life 
is wonderfully simple and easy if we are 
but true to the highest within us, and keep 
ourselves free from the various perplexing 
and mystifying theological theories and 
dogmas, which ordinarily give merely a 
promise of spiritual awakening, realisation. 



EVER KNOWN 27 

and power in some other form of life, 
rather than actualising it here and now in 
this Hfe. 

But only as man becomes conscious of 
the Lord Christ within, only as he becomes 
conscious, — realises in thought that he is 
one with the Infinite Life and Power, — 
does this great fact become a moving and 
mighty force in the affairs of his daily life. 
Until this is true he remains in the condition 
of the eagle, which, though unchained, think- 
ing nevertheless that he was still chained, 
remained in captivity when the freedom of 
the heavens awaited simply the spreading 
of his wings. 

Although the answer to our title has been 
given both in Imes and between lines long 
before this, it may be an aid to us, 
especially in making practical what is to 
follow, to put it as best we can into a 
definite form : The greatest thing ever 
known — indeed, the greatest thing that ever 
can be known — is that in our real essential 
nature we are one with the Infinite Life 
and Power, and that by coming into, and 
dwelling continually in, the conscious^ living 
realisation of this great fact, we enable to 



28 THE GREATEST THING 

be manifested unto us and actualised within 
us the qualities and powers of the Divine 
Life, and this in the exact degree of the 
completeness of this realisation on our 
part. 



EVER KNOWN 29 



II 

DIVINE ENERGIES IN EVERY-DAY LIFi 

A ND what, let us ask, is the result and 
hence the value of this realisation ? 
For unless it is of value in the affairs of 
every-day life, it is then a mere dead 
theory, and consequently of no real value. 
Use must be the final test of everything, 
and if it has no actual use, or if no visible 
results follow its use, we had better not 
spend time with it, for it is then not 
founded upon truth. 

First, let it be said, it is not the mere 
intellectual recognition, merely the dead 
theory, but the conscious, vital and living 
realisation of this great truth, that makes it 
of value, and that makes it show forth in 
the affairs of every-day life. This it is, and 
this alone, that gives true blessedness, for 
this is none other than the finding of the 
kingdom of God, and when this is once 
found and lived in, all other things literally 
and necessarily follow. Through this the 



3Q THE GREATEST THING 

qualities and powers of the Divine Life are 
more and more realised and actualised, and 
through their leading we are led into the 
possession of all other things. 

He who comes into this full and living 
realisation of his oneness with the Divine 
Life is brought at once into right relations 
with himself, with his fellow-men, and with 
the laws of the universe about him. He 
lives now in the inner, the real life, and 
whatever is in the interior must necessarily 
take form in the exterior, for all life is 
from within out. There is no true life in 
regard to which this law does not hold. 
And if the will of God is done in the 
inward life, then is it necessarily done in 
all things of the outward life, and the 
results are always manifest. Thus and 
thus alone it is that men have become 
prophets, seers, and saviours ; they have 
become what the world calls the "elect" 
of God, because in their own lives they 
first elected God and lived their lives in 
His life. And thus it is that to-day men 
can become prophets, seers, and saviours, 
for the laws of the Divine Life and the 
relations of what we term the human life 



EVER KNOWN 31 

to it are identically the same to-day as 
they have been in all time past and will 
be in all time to come. The Divine Being 
changes not; it is man alone who changes. 

It is solely by virtue of man's leaving 
the inner life of the spirit and thus depart- 
ing from God, or by virtue of his not yet 
finding this real life, that sin and error, 
pain and disease, fears and forebodings, 
have crept as naturally and as necessarily 
as that effect follows cause into his life ; 
only by closing his eyes to the inner light, 
by shutting his ears to the inner voice, 
that, although he has eyes to see, yet he 
sees not, and, although he has ears to hear, 
yet he hears not. And it is only by unit- 
ing his life with the Divine Life, and thus 
living again the life of the spirit, that these 
things will go, even as they have come. 

All the evil, unhappiness, misery, and 
want in the world are attributable to man, 
and are the direct results of his taking his 
life, either consciously or unconsciously, 
either directly or indirectly, out of harmony 
with the Power that works for righteousness 
and consequently for wholeness and perfec- 
tion. And when our life is lived in the 



32 THE GREATEST THING 

life of God, and God's will therefore 
becomes our will, all is and necessarily 
must be well with us, for contrary to His 
will it is impossible that anything should 
ever come to pass. And thus it is that he 
who seeks first the kingdom of God and 
His righteousness shall have all other things 
added unto him. The soul, the real life, 
is Divine, and by allowing it to become 
translucent to Infinite Spirit by living con- 
tinually in this conscious union with Divine 
Being it reveals all things to us. Things 
become hidden, mysteries fill and un- 
certainties pervade life only as we turn 
away from the inner light and life; there 
is nothing that is hidden of itself; to God 
all things are known, and he who con- 
sciously lives his life in the life of God 
sees with the Divine vision that reveals all 
things to him. He who lives continually 
under this Divine guidance enters thereby 
into the realm of the highest wisdom, and 
even in the most trivial things of every-day 
life he never finds himself in a state of 
doubt or perplexity, for he always knows 
what to do and how to do it. 

He has no regrets for the past, because 



EVER KNOWN 



33 



before he entered into his present conscious- 
ness he was in a sense dead unto life, and 
all regrets that he might have for the past 
'are now swallowed up in the joys that the 
new birth that has brought him into fulness 
of life continually spreads before his every 
step. He has neither fears nor forebodings 
in regard to the future, for he knows that 
contrary to God's will, which is now his 
will, nothing can ever come to pass. Peace, 
therefore, a full and abiding peace, is con- 
tinually his. 

As all life is from within out, and as this 
is absolutely true in regard to the physical 
body, the fountain of Divine Life that has 
been opened up within him, which of itself 
can admit of no disease or imperfection of 
any kind, will allow only healthy conditions 
to be externalised in his body; and where 
unhealthy conditions have been built into it 
before his entrance into the new life, the life 
that now courses through it will in time 
drive them out by entirely replacing the 
diseased structure with that which is pure 
and whole. 

A continually growing sense of power is 
his, for he is now working in conjunction 
C 



34 THE GREATEST THING 

with the Infinite God, and with God all 
things are possible. In material things he is 
not lacking, for all things are from this one 
Infinite Source, and, guided by the Divine 
Wisdom and sustained by the Divine Power 
that are now his, in a perfectly natural and 
normal way he finds that an abundance of 
all things is his, always in hand in sufficient 
time to supply all his material needs, and 
never is there lack when the time comes, if 
he simply does each day what his hands 
find to do. Sure always of this unfailing 
source of supply, he does not give himself 
to the accumulation ai d the hoarding of 
great material possessions, thereby robbing 
and enslaving the real life. 

His thoughts grow more and more into 
the nature of their Divine Source, and as 
thoughts are forces^ and as in the degree that 
they are spiritualised do they become ever 
more effective in their operations, so through 
their instrumentality is he able to mould 
more and more effectively the every-day 
conditions of life. And so as he enters into 
this new Hfe he finds that all things of the 
outer life fall into line ; for as is the inner^ 
so always and necessarily is the outer. 



EVER KNOWN 35 

These truths will come as new revelations 
to many, and again to many they will come 
merely as agents to strengthen and possibly 
to arouse to renewed life the realisations of 
which they are already more or less con- 
scious. In themselves, however, they are not 
new, but as old as the world. They are the 
real spirit of true Christianity, not, how- 
ever, of the Christianity that the majority of 
people conventionally hold, which in many 
respects is as radically inconsistent as it is 
void of results, but the great transcendent 
truths of our relations with the Father's life 
that Jesus taught. 

They are likewise the real essential spirit 
of all the great religions of the world, and as 
all religions in their purity are from the same 
source, — God speaking through the minds of 
those who have come into a sufficient union 
with Him to hear and to interpret His voice, 
the one universal source of all true inspira- 
tion and all true revelation, — so far as their 
fundamental principles are concerned they 
are necessarily the same. 

And the great spiritual awakening, the 
beginnings of which we are witnessing in 
all parts of the world to-day, is evidence 



36 THE GREATEST THING 

that the Divine Breath is stirring in the 
minds and hearts of men and women in a 
manner such as it has rarely if ever stirred 
before. Men and women are literally find- 
ing God. They are breaking through the 
mere letter and form of an old and too-long- 
held ecclesiastical theorising and dogmatism 
into the real vital spirit of the religion of 
the living and transcendent God. They are 
waking here and there and everywhere to 
the realisation of their oneness with the 
living God. Their lives are being com- 
pletely filled with this realisation, and as 
a consequence they are showing forth the 
works of God. 

They are leaving the old one-day-in-seven, 
some-other-world religion, and they are find- 
ing the joys as well as the practicability of 
an every-day, this-world religion. They are 
passing out of the religion of death and 
possible glory hereafter, into the religion of 
life and joy and glory here and now, to-day 
and every day, as well as hereafter and for- 
evermore. With this new religion of the 
living God and the spiritual power that 
through it is being made active in their 
lives, they are moulding in detail all of 



EVER KNOWN 37 

the affairs of every-day life, proving thereby 
that their rehgion is the reHgion of Hfe. 
And any system of reHgion that does not 
enable its possessor to do this is simply not 
religion, and we should no longer desecrate 
the word by applying it to any such hollow 
mockeries. 

To this old semblance of religion those 
who are thus entering into this new and 
larger religion of life will never return, nor 
can they, any more than the chick can enter 
within the confines of its shell again after 
it has been once born into life. Having 
found the pearl, the shell for them must 
perish ; or rather, as it is of no farther value 
to them, it perishes simply by the operation 
of natural law. Centred thus in the Infinite, 
working now in conscious harmony with 
Divine forces, they ever after rule the world 
from within. 



38 THE GREATEST THING 
III 

THE master's great BUT LOST GIFT 

'T^HE conclusions we have arrived at thus 
far we have arrived at independently 
of any authority outside of our own reason 
and insight. It is always of interest as well 
as of greater or less value to compare our 
own conclusions with those of others whose 
opinions we value. It would indeed be a 
matter of exceeding great interest to com- 
pare those we have reached with those of 
a number whose opinions come with greater 
or less authority to all the world. Space 
dots not permit this, however, and I propose 
that we give the balance of our time to the 
consideration, though necessarily brief con- 
sideration, of two such ; one universally 
regarded as one of the most highly illumined 
teachers, if not the most highly illumined, 
the world has ever known, the Christ Jesus; 
the other universally rcL^arded as one of the 
most highly illumined philosophers the world 
has ever known, the philosopher Fichte. 



EVER KNOWN 39 

And in these two we have the advantage of 
the life and teachings of one who Hved and 
taught nearly nineteen hundred years ago, 
and one who lived and taught a trifle less 
than a hundred years ago. By selecting 
these, let it also be said, we have the ad- 
vantage of two whose lives fully manifested 
the truth of that which they taught. 

In considering the life and teachings of 
Jesus, let us consider them not as dull ex- 
positors interpret and represent them, but 
as he himself gave them to the world. 
Certainly Jesus was Divine; but he was 
Divine, as he himself clearly taught, in just 
the same sense that you and I and every 
human soul is Divine. He differed from us, 
however, in that he had come into a far 
clearer and fuller realisation of his divinity 
than we have come into, as indeed his life so 
clearly indicates. Jesus was God manifest 
in the flesh, as indeed every one must be 
who comes into the full realisation of his 
oneness with God, as Jesus himself again so 
clearly taught. 

In the thoroughly absurd, illogical, and 
positively demoralising doctrine of "vicarious 
atonement," as given us by early ecclesi- 



40 THE GREATEST THING 

astical bodies by perverting the real teach- 
ings of Jesus even to the extent of calHng 
interpolations in the New Testament to their 
aid, we certainly cannot believe. Many do, 
however, believe that it has done more harm 
to the real teachings of Jesus, has been more 
productive of scepticism and infidelity, than 
all other causes combined. It is a doctrine 
that can be formulated only by those who 
have no spiritual insight themselves, and 
who therefore drag the teachings of the 
Master down to a purely material interpreta- 
tion because of their inability to give them 
the spiritual interpretation that he intended 
they should have. 

If his mission was not that of vicarious 
atonement, not for the purpose of appeasing 
the wrath and indignation of an angry God 
and thus reconciling Him to His children, 
what then was it ? Clearly his mission was 
that of a Redeemer as he gave himself out 
to be — a Redeemer to bring the children of 
men back to their Father. And how did he 
purpose to do this ? Clearly by having them 
consciously unite their lives with the Father's 
life, even as he had united his. The kingdom 
of God and His righteousness is not only 



EVER KNOWN 41 

what he came to teach, but what he clearly 
and unmistakably taught. 

That he plainly and unequivocally taught 
his disciples that this was his mission is 
evidenced by numerous sentences such as 
the following, occurring all through the 
gospels: Matt. iv. 23, "jesus went about 
in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues 
and preaching the gospel of the kingdom," 
etc. . . . Luke viii. i, "He went about 
through cities and villages, preaching and 
bringing the good tidings of the kingdom of 
God." . . . Luke iv. 43, "But he said 
unto them : I must preach the good tidings 
of the kingdom of God to other cities also, 
for therefore was I sentT . . . Luke ix. 2, 
"And he sent them forth to preach the 
kingdom of God and to heal the sick." . . . 
Matt. xxiv. 14, "And this gospel of the 
kingdom shall be preached in the whole 
world, for a testimony unto all nations," etc. 
... In more than thirty places in the first 
three gospels do we find Jesus thoroughly 
explaining to his disciples his especial 
mission — to preach the glad tidings of the 
coming of the kingdom of God ; and even 
before he entered upon his public work, we 



42 THE GREATEST THING 

hear John the Baptist going before him and 
sa) ing, " Repent ye ; for the kingdom of 
Heaven is at hand." 

What did Jesus mean by the kingdom of 
God, or, as he sometimes expressed it, the 
kingdom of Heaven? As an answer, and 
an answer better than any speculations in 
regard to it, let us again take his own words : 
" Neither shall they say, Lo here ! or, Lo 
there ! for, behold, the kingdom of God is 
within you." He taught only what he him- 
self had found, the conscious union with the 
Father's life as the one and all-inclusive 
thing. Witii Jesus from the very first, only 
in union with God was there reality. And 
this life in the Father's life seemed nothing 
at all marvellous to him; it was perfecdy 
natural, and the only life he knew. Hence 
he could not say otherwise than that he and 
the Father were one. His vision was so 
clear and his already realised Divine life was 
so full and complete, that he knew that it 
was utterly impossible for his life to be with- 
out the Father's life, as we indeed shall 
know when our vision becomes clear and 
we enter into the same fully realised union 
with it. 



EVER KNOWN 43 

This great knowledge came to Jesus not 
through intellectual speculation and still less 
through any communication from without; 
it came to him through his own interior 
consciousness ; to all appearances he was 
born with it. He was born with a peculiar 
aptitude for discerning things of the Spirit, 
just as among us some are born with a 
peculiar aptitude for one thing and others 
for other things. But so great was this 
power naturally in Jesus that in it we may 
justly say he had a great advantage over most 
people born into the world, and for this 
reason was he all the more able and all the 
greater reason was there for him to be one 
of the great world Teachers and hence 
Redeemers. He was indeed Immanuel — • 
God with us. 

Jesus, I repeat, never speaks of his life in 
any other connection than as one with the 
Father's life. 

In reply to a question from Thomas in 
the fourteenth chapter of John, he says, " If 
ye had known me, ye would have known 
my Father also : from henceforth ye know 
him and have seen him." Philip, who was 
standing near, unable to comprehend the 



44 THE GREATEST THING 

interior meaning of the Master's words, said 
unto him : " Lord, show us the Father, and 
it sufficeth us." Jesus, somewhat surprised 
that he had not made himself clear to them, 
replied : '' Have I been so long time with 
you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? 
He that hath seen me hath seen the Father ; 
how sayest thou, Show us the Father? Be- 
lievest thou not that I am in the Father, and 
the Father in me ? The words I speak unto 
you I speak not from myself : but the Father 
abiding in me doeth His work. Believe me 
that I am in the Father and the Father in 
me : or believe me for the very works' sake." 
But if his especial mission was to preach 
the good tidings of the kingdom of God, 
why, I hear it asked, did he claim that only 
through him can we come unto the kingdom, 
as he indeed says in his conversation with 
Philip and Thomas immediately preceding 
the part just quoted : " I am the way, the 
truth, and the life ; no one cometh unto the 
Father but by me.' Simply because it was 
the living truth that he brought, which was 
and evermore is to redeem men by uniting 
them in mind and heart with the Father. 
His realised oneness with the Father's life 



EVER KNOWN 45 

was the way, the truth, and the life, and 
only by going over the same path that he 
himself had trod can anyone be truly united 
with the Father. He found this great, vital 
and redeeming truth nowhere else in the 
world ; he had to speak as one standing 
alone, and in this sense he spoke most truly 
and most literally when he said, " No one 
Cometh unto the Father but by me." And 
in order to point out his life, his realised 
oneness with the Father's life, as the way, 
the truth, and the life, he spoke and indeed 
had to speak as he did, even at the risk of 
being misunderstood and having his words 
taken in a purely material sense, as was the 
tendency of the spiritual poverty of the age, 
and indeed as his very disciples so often 
.interpreted his words, as we have but 
recently seen. In order to give forth the 
spiritual teachin^^s which he gave, he had 
to use the language and the illustrations 
that their material minds could grasp, and 
in this way make his teachings doubly liable' 
to a purely material interpretation. 

"I am the bread of life," said he to those 
assembled about him ; " your fathers did eat 
the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 



46 THE GREATEST THING 

This is the bread which cometh down out of 
heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not 
die. I am the living bread which came down 
out of heaven : if any man eat of this bread, 
he shall live forever : yea, and the bread 
which I will give is my flesh, for the life of 
the world." The Jews taking his words in a 
material sense argued one with another and 
said : " How can this man give us his flesh 
to eat ? " Jesus simply reaffirmed his state- 
ment, saying : " Verily, verily, I say unto 
you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of 
man and drink his blood, ye have not life in 
yourselves. . . . For my flesh is meat indeed, 
and my blood is drink indeed." Literally, 
" My flesh is the true food, and my blood is 
the true drink. He that eateth my flesh and 
drinketh my blood abideth in me and I in 
him. As the living Father sent me, and I 
live because of the Father, so he that eateth 
me, he also shall live because of me." 

And many of his disciples, even, when 
they heard him speaking in this way, said 
among themselves, "This is a hard saying; 
who can hear him ? " — who can understand 
him ? Jesus, quickly perceiving that they were 
again dragging his words down to a material 



EVER KNOWN 47 

interpretation, asked them if what he had 
just said caused them to stumble, and then^ 
in order that they get his real meanings he 
said, " It is the spirit that quickeneth ; the 
flesh profiteth nothing : the words that I 
have spoken unto you are spirit and are Hfe." 
And so all except those who are wholly 
spiritually, not to say even mentally, blind, 
can readily see that what Jesus meant to say, 
and what he actually did say, was, the words 
that he spoke to them of his oneness with the 
Father's life were the true meat and the true 
drink, of which, unless a man ate and drank, 
he had not life in himself, but that these 
were able to give him life and life eternal. 

" He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my 
blood abideth in me, and I in him." Or, 
reversing the expression. He that dwelleth 
in me and I in him, he it is that eateth 
my flesh and drinketh my blood. "The 
words that I have spoken unto you, (they) 
are spirit and (they) are life." "As the 
living Father hath sent me, and I live be- 
cause of the Father, so he that eateth me, 
he also shall live because of me." In the 
words of another,^ "To eat his flesh and 

1 Fichte in "The Way towards the Blessed Life." 



48 THE GREATEST THING 

drink his blood means to become wholly 
and entirely he himself; to become alto- 
gether changed into his person without re- 
serve or limitation ; to be a faithful repetition 
of him in another personality; to be tran- 
substantiated with him, />., as he is the 
Eternal Word made flesh and blood, to 
become his flesh and blood, and what 
follows from that, and indeed is the same 
thing, to become the very Eternal Word 
made flesh and blood itself; to think wholly 
and entirely like him, and so as if he him- 
self thought and not we ; to live wholly and 
entirely like him, and so as if he himself 
lived in our life. As surely as you do not 
now attempt to drag down my own words, 
and reduce them to the narrow meaning 
that Jesus is only to be imitated, as an 
unattainable pattern, partially and at a dis- 
tance, as far as human weakness will allow, 
but accept them in the sense in which I 
have spoken them, that we must be trans- 
formed into Christ himself, so surely will 
it become evident to you that Jesus could 
not well have expressed himself otherwise, 
and that he actually did express himself 
excellently well. Jesus was very far from 



EVER KNOWN 49 

representing himself as that unattainable 
ideal into which he was first transformed 
by the spiritual poverty of the after-ages; 
nor did his apostles so regard him." 

To live in Christ is to live the life he 
lived, by living in the truth in which he 
lived and which he taught. The one great 
truth in which he continually lived was, as 
we have seen, that only in conscious union 
with God is there any real life, and therefore 
we can readily see why he continually gave 
out, as the Gospel writers tell us so many 
times he did, that his especial «nission was 
to preach the glad tidings of the kingdom 
of God. Were it not possible for us to live 
the same life that he lived, he certainly 
would not have taught what he taught. 
This wonderful life of fully realised Divine 
life Jesus claims not for himself alone, but 
for all who actually live in the truth that 
he taught. 

It was not to establish any material in- 
stitution, as the church, that Jesus made his 
mission, but that the kingdom of God and 
His righteousness should become actualised 
and hold sway in the minds and hearts of 
men — this was his mission, an entirely 



50 THE GREATEST THING 

different thing from the founding of a 
material organisation. Paul and his party, 
sharing the then prevailing ideas that a 
material kingdom was to be established, 
were the originators of the church, not 
Jesus. We find the word "church" men- 
tioned in the four Gospels by Jesus only 
once or twice, and then only in an incidental 
way, while we find the kingdom mentioned 
over thirty times in the first three Gospels 
alone. 

As we have already pointed out, had it 
been his purpose to establish a material 
organisation, then he certainly would not 
have given it out that something else was 
his especial purpose. But when the material 
organisation, the church, purely a man-made 
institution, was established, the early church 
fathers bringing even interpolations of the 
Holy Word to their aid in establishing it 
and some of its various observations, — as 
modern scholarship has already so clearly 
discovered, and as it is continually discover- 
ing, — the following ages, thinking that they 
had an institution to keep up, gradually lost, 
to a greater or less extent, the real spiritual 
teachings of the Master in their zeal to keep 



EVER KNOWN 51 

up the form of an institution with which he 
had nothing to do. And those long and 
bitter persecutions of the church in the 
early and middle ages, as well as the long 
list of crimes sanctioned and committed 
directly by the church of the middle ages, 
show that they had not the real truth ; for 
those who live in the truth and have it 
uppermost in their minds and hearts never 
persecute — only those who are on either 
uncertain or false ground, and whose en- 
deavour it is to keep up the form of an 
institution which they feel would otherwise 
fall to the ground. 

No, true religion has never been known 
either to persecute or to show intolerance 
of any kind. Throughout the whole history 
of the churches' heresies and persecutions, 
the persecuted party has ever occupied a 
correspondingly higher and the persecuting 
party a lower position, the persecuting party 
continually fighting as it were for life. But 
the real truth that Jesus taught will not 
cause nor will it even permit persecutions — 
hence we find the latter only where there 
is the lack of the former. 

And again, the real truth that Jesus taught 



52 THE GREATEST THING 

will not admit of divisions, much less of 
intolerance, for all real truth is exact truth, 
and in regard to it there can be no differ- 
ences, and our modern theologians, and our 
churches of to-day, which get their form 
and life from the speculations and theories 
of the former, certainly have not the real 
truth that Jesus taught, for they are divided 
in various directions on practically every 
dogma that they seek to promulgate. And 
strange as it may seem, heresy trials, with 
all their absurd attendant features, are not 
entirely unknown even yet to-day. But in 
Jesus' own words, "A house divided against 
itself cannot stand." And so if the church 
of to-day wants to stand as a real power in 
the world, or if indeed it wants to stand at 
all, it must either get back to, or it must come 
up, as the case may be, to the real living 
truth that Jesus lived and taught. Unless 
it does this it will inevitably lose its hold 
on the people even more rapidly than it is 
losing it to-day. And certainly the younger 
ones whom it does not yet hold will not be 
drawn to it, when they can turn to that which 
has a thousand-fold more of truth and hence 
of life-giving power than it has to offer. 



EVER KNOWN 53 

That this is not a mere sentiment on our 
part is evidenced by the wonderful rapidity 
with which the " New Thought " movement 
— would that we could designate what we 
mean without using any term — which has, 
as its underlying truth, this conscious union 
with the Divine Life and the actualised 
powers attendant upon it as Jesus taught, — 
hence not a new discovery, but a recovery, 
— is growing in America, in England, to be 
brief, in practically every civilised country 
in the world. Thousands every year in our 
own and in other countries are finding in 
it the joys of the realised Divine Life, and 
are turning to it from that which but poorly 
feeds them ; and that this also is no mere 
sentiment on our part is evidenced by the 
contents of a letter recently sent by a noted 
divine in high official standing in the church 
in England to a noted American preacher, 
in which he said, in substance, that the 
church in England is literally honeycombed 
by the " New Thought " movement, and 
asked that he might have sent a list of the 
best books that had already appeared in 
America along the lines indicated. 

And so what we need tg-day is the same 



54 THE GREATEST THING 

as what the word is eagerly calling for, the 
life-giving power of the great central truth 
that the Master taught, and not the various 
theories and speculations in regard to his 
origin, his birth, his life, and the meaning of 
his teachings. And still less, the fabrications 
of the early fathers in regard to inherited sin, 
original sin, vicarious atonement, and their 
belie ve-and-be-saved doctrine, and the al- 
ternative doctrine, fail to believe that which 
is opposed to all reason, all common-sense, 
all real mercy, as well as all true justice, and 
be damned, be forever and eternally lost. 

Jesus is indeed a lamb of God that taketh 
away the sins of the world, but he takes tlicm 
away by bringing to the world the truth that 
shall make men free. Hence it is through 
his life and the truth that he lived and 
taught, not through his death and the 
observance of the various ceremonies and 
forms that have grown up around it. Those 
who are aided by symbols — and I am aware 
of the fact that for some, many hallowed 
associations are connected with them — may 
do well to make use of them until they 
outgrow the need for them. But symbols 



EVER KNOWN 55 

are of value only where the real thing is not, 
and those who have the real thing no longer 
have need for symbols. "But the hour 
Cometh," said Jesus, "and now is "(since I 
have brought you the real spirit of truth), 
"when the true worshippers shall worship 
the Father in spirit and truth ; for such doth 
the Father seek to be His worshippers. 
God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him 
must worship in spirit and truth." 

Jesus, according to his own words, did 
not propose to rest satisfied with the mere 
historical belief \\\dX he was the Eternal Word 
made flesh, and much less, as some phases 
of theology teach, that reconciliation with 
the Father, as ordinarily understood, was his 
purpose. God would adopt no methods in 
connection with His children that are op- 
posed to ftieir own reason. Nor would He 
adopt any partial, limited, or tribal methods. 

And if, as various theologians would have 
us believe, that reconciliation with the Father 
can come about only by a belief in the shed- 
ding of the material, physical blood of Jesus, 
that through it the Father may receive satis- 
faction for His favour, how is it in regard 
to the great company of those who cannot 



56 THE GREATEST THING 

accept a theory so absurd, so illogical, and 
so opposed to the nature of the living God 
whom they knoiv, and about whom they 
no longer have to speculate and theorise, 
to say nothing of the millions upon millions 
of those who never have heard, and other 
millions who never can hear, of the man 
Jesus and the story of his blood "shed for 
the sins of the world," nine-tenths of whom, 
for good reasons, would not believe it if they 
did hear it? No, these fabrications cannot 
be true, for " in every nation, he that feareth 
God and worketh righteousness is accepted 
of Him." And so one may be without con- 
nection with any church, and even without 
connection with any established religion, and 
yet be in spirit, hence in reality, a much 
truer Christian than hosts of those who 
profess to be his most ardent followers, as 
indeed Jesus himself so many times says. 
"By Xheir fruits ye shall know them," said 
he. "Not every one that saith unto me. 
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom 
of heaven ; but he that doeth the will of my 
Father which is in heaven." 

That which calls itself Christianity must 
prove itself, and only that which shows forth 



EVER KNOWN 57 

in its life the works, the power, the influence 
— the truth that Jesus' life showed forth — is 
the real. " He that believeth on me," said 
Jesus, — and shows it by living my life, — 
" the works that I do shall he do also ; and 
greater works than these shall he do because 
I go unto the Father." And he who would 
know by what authority Jesus spoke, let him 
live the life that he lived and he will then 
know of the doctrine. Thus and thus only 
can it be known. We may speculate and 
theorise in regard to it, but only by living 
the life can we k7ww it. 



58 THE GREATEST THING 
IV 

THE philosopher's RIPEST LIFE THOUGHT 

T ET US now see how the truths we have 
already set forth stand in reference to 
the thought of the philosopher Fichte. 
Truth, the highest truth, and truth for its 
own sake, was the one supreme object of his 
life. And in order to discern this clearly him- 
self, that he in turn might point it out clearly 
to others, he stood erect and alone, free from 
connection with any institution, organisation, 
or system of thought that would distort or 
limit his vision and induce him either inten- 
tionally or unintentionally to interpret truth 
by bending it to suit the tenets of the system 
of thought or the institution to which he 
might be, even though inadvertently, bound. 
It was of Fichte that an eminent English 
scholar once said : ^' Far above the dark 
vortex of theological strife in which punier 
intellects chafe and vex themselves in vain, 
Fichte struggles forward in the sunshine of 
pure thought which sectarianism cannot see, 



EVER KNOWN 59 

because its weakened vision is already filled 
with a borrowed and imperfect light." — 

It is, moreover, always of value to know 
how the truth that one finds and endeavours 
to give to others finds embodiment in his 
own life, for this is the sure and unfailing 
test of its vitality, if not indeed of its reality. 
A word or two, therefore, in reference to the 
life of Fichte may not be inappropriate here, 
a word or two from the same eminent 
English scholar quoted above, the trans- 
lator of his works from the German to the 
English, for he knew well his life as he_ 
knew also his philosophy. "We prize his'^ 
philosophy deeply," says he; "it is to us 
an invaluable possession, for it seems the 
noblest exposition to which we have yet 
Hstened of human nature and divine truth ; 
but with reverent thankfulness we acknow- 
ledge a still higher debt, for he has left 
behind him the best gift which man can 
bequeath to man — a brave, heroic human 
life." " "' ^ 

" In the strong reality of his life, — in his 
intense love for all things beautiful and true, 
— in his incorruptible integrity and heroic 
devotion to the right, we see a living mani- 



> OF THE 



6o THE GREATEST THING 

festation of his principles. His life is the 
true counterpart of his philosophy — it is that 
of a strong, free, incorruptible man." 

And now to a few paragraphs of Fichte's 
thought bearing more or less directly upon 
the theme immediately in hand. After set- 
ting forth in a very comprehensive manner 
the truth in regard to Being, which he 
identifies with Life much in the same 
general manner as we have already en- 
deavoured to set it forth, and then after 
making it clear that by God he means this 
Infinite Being, this Spirit of Infinite Life, 
he says : 

"God alone is, and nothing besides him, 
— a principle which, it seems to me, may 
be easily comprehended, and which is the 
indispensable condition of all religious in- 
sight." 

"But beyond this mere empty and 
imaginary conception, and as we have 
carefully set forth this matter above, God 
enters into us in his actual, true, and 
immediate life, — or, to express it more 
strictly, we ourselves are this his immediate 



EVER KNOWN 6i 

Life. But we are not conscious of this 
immediate Divine Life ; and since, as we 
have also already seen, our own Existence 
— that which properly belongs to us — is that 
only which we can embrace in consciousness, 
so our Being in God, notwithstanding that 
at bottom it is indeed ours, remains never- 
theless forever foreign to us, and thus, in 
deed and truth, to ourselves is not our Being ; 
we are in no respect the better of this insight, 
and remain as far removed as ever from God. 
We know nothing of this immediate Divine 
Life, I said ; for even at the first touch of 
consciousness it is changed into a dead 
World. . . . The form forever veils the 
substance from us ; our vision itself conceals 
its object; our eye stands in its own light. 
I say unto thee who thus complainest : 
' Raise thyself to the standing-point of 
Religion, and all these veils are drawn 
aside; the World, with its dead principle, 
disappears from before thee, and the God- 
head once more resumes its place within 
thee, in its first and original form, as Life, — 
as thine own Life, which thou oughtest to 
live and shalt live.'" 

In setting forth how universally Divine 



62 THE GREATEST THING 

Being incarnates itself in human Life, he 
says : " From the first standing-point the 
Eternal Word becomes flesh, assumes a 
personal, sensible, and human existence, 
without obstruction or reserve, in all times, 
and in every individual man who has a living 
insight into his unity with God, and who 
actually and in truth gives up his personal 
life to the Divine Life within him, — precisely 
in the same way as it became incarnate in 
Jesus Christ." 

Speaking, then, of the great fundamental 
fact that the truth that Jesus himself 
perceived and gave to the world, and also 
of the manner whereby he came into the 
perception of it, he says : "Jesus of Nazareth 
undoubtedly possessed the highest perception 
containing the foundation of all other Truth, 
of the absolute identity of Humanity with 
the Godhead, as regards what is essentially 
real in the former." 

"His self-consciousness was at once the 
pure and absolute Truth of Reason itself, 
self-existent and independent, the simple 
fact of consciousness." 

• ••»• *•• 

Then in showing that Jesus as he is pre- 



EVER KNOWN 63 

sented to us by the apostle John never con- 
ceived of his Hfe in any other Hght than 
as one with the Father's Life, he says : 

" But it is precisely the most prominent and 
striking trait in the character of the Johannean 
Jesus, ever recurring in the same shape, that 
he will know nothing of such a separation 
of his personality from his Father, and that 
he earnestly rebukes others who attempt 
to make such a distinction ; while he con- 
stantly assumes that he who sees him sees 
the Father, that he who hears him hears the 
Father, and that he and the Father are 
wholly one ; and he unconditionally denies 
and rejects the notion of an independent 
being in himself, such an unbecoming 
elevation of himself having been made an 
objection against him by misunderstanding. 
To him Jesus was not God, for to him there 
was no independent Jesus whatever; but 
God was Jesus, and manifested himself as 
Jesus." 

To show, then, that this is a universal 
truth, brought in its fulness, and with a liv- 
ing exemplified vitality, first to the world by 
Jesus, but by no means applicable to him 
alone, he says : " An insight into the absolute 



64 THE GREATEST THING 

unity of the Human Existence with the 
Divine is certainly the profoundest Know- 
ledge that man can attain. Before Jesus 
this Knowledge had nowhere existed ; and 
since his time, we may say, even down to 
the present day, it has been again as good 
as rooted out and lost, at least in profane 
literature." 

That we must come into the same living 
realisation of this great transcendent truth 
that Jesus came into, either through his 
teaching and exemplified realisation of it, or 
through whatever channel it may come, he 
clearly indicates by the following : " The 
living possession of the theory we have now 
set forth — not the dry, dead, and merely 
historical knowledge of it — is, according to 
our doctrine, the highest, and indeed the 
only possible, Blessedness." 

"The Metaphysical only, and not the 
Historical, can give us Blessedness; the 
latter can only give us understanding. If 
iany man be truly united with God, and dwell 
in him, it is altogether an indifferent thing 
how he may have reached this state ; and it 
would be a most useless and perverse em- 
ployment, instead of living in the thing, to 



EVER KNOWN 65 

be continually repeating over our recollec- 
tions of the way. Could Jesus return into 
the world, we might expect him to be 
thoroughly satisfied, if he found Christianity 
actually reigning in the minds of men, 
whether his merit in the work were recog- 
nised or overlooked ; and this is, in fact, the 
very least that might be expected from a 
man who, while he lived on earth, sought 
not his own glory, but the glory of him who 
sent him." 

And what in the eyes of Fichte are the 
results that follow and hence the tests of 
the genuineness of this higher realisation, 
this True Religion, as he sometimes terms 
it ? His words in this connection are : " True 
Religion, notwithstanding that it raises the 
view of those who are inspired by it to its own 
region, nevertheless retains their Life firmly 
in the domain of action, and of right moral 
action. The true and real Religious Life is 
not alone percipient and contemplative, does 
not merely brood over devout thoughts, but 
is essentially active. It consists, as we have 
seen, in the intimate consciousness that God 
actually lives, moves, and perfects his work 
in us. If therefore there is in us no real 



66 THE GREATEST THING 

Life, if no activity and no visible work pro- 
ceed forth from us, then is God not active in 
us. Our consciousness of union with God 
is then deceptive and vain, and the empty 
shadow of a condition that is not ours; 
perhaps the general, but lifeless, insight that 
such a condition is possible, and in others 
may be actual, but that we ourselves have, 
nevertheless, not the least portion in it." 

" Religion does not consist in mere devout 
dreams, I said : Religion is not a business 
by and for itself, which a man may practise 
apart from his other occupations, perhaps 
on certain fixed days and hours; but it is 
the inmost spirit that penetrates, inspires, 
and pervades all our Thought and Action, 
which in other respects pursue their ap- 
pointed course without change or interrup- 
tion. That the Divine Life and Energy 
actually lives in us is inseparable from 
Religion, I said." 

To show, then, how completely at one in 
his or her consciousness this truly religious 
man or woman becomes, how his or her 
own personal will is lost in, and so trans- 
muted into, the Divine Will, as also the 
calmness and tranquillity with which his or 



EVER KNOWN 67 

her life forever thereafter flows along, he 
says : " The expression of the constant 
mind of the truly Moral and Religious 
man is this prayer : ' Lord ! let but thy 
will be done, then is mine also done; for 
I have no other will than this — that thy 
will be done." 

"This Divine Life now continually de- 
velops itself within him, without hindrance 
or obstruction, as it can and must develop 
itself only in him and his individuality; 
this alone it is that he properly wills; his 
will is therefore always accomplished, and it 
is absolutely impossible that anything con- 
trary to it should ever come to pass." 

"Whatever comes to pass around him, 
nothing appears to him strange or un- 
accountable — he knows assuredly, whether 
he understand it or not, that it is in God's 
World, and that there nothing can be that 
does not directly tend to Good. In him 
there is no fear for the Future, for 
the absolute fountain of all Blessedness 
eternally bears him on towards it; no 
sorrow for the Past, for in so far as he 
was not in God he was nothing, and this 
is now at an end, and since he has dwelt 



68 THE GREATEST THING 

in God he has been bom into Light; 
while in so far as he was in God, that 
which he has done is assuredly right and 
good. He has never aught to deny him- 
self, nor aught to long for; for he is at 
all times in eternal possession of the ful- 
ness of all that he is capable of enjoying. 
For him all labour and effort have vanished ; 
his whole Outward Existence flows forth, 
softly and gently, from his Inward Being, 
and issues out into Reality without difficulty 
or hindrance." 

Speaking, then, of how we may at once 
enter into and live in the full realisation 
of this real life, and also of those who, 
instead of entering immediately into the 
Kingdom and thus finding the highest 
happiness and joy here and now, are 
expecting to find it in its completeness 
after the transition we call death, he says : 
"Full surely indeed there lies a Blessed- 
ness beyond the grave for those who have 
already entered upon it here, and in no 
other form or way than that by which they 
can already enter upon it here in this 
moment; but by mere burial man cannot 
arrive at Blessedness — and in the future 



EVER KNOWN 69 

life, and throughout the whole infinite 
range of all future life, they would seek 
for happiness as vainly as they have already 
sought it here, if they were to seek it in 
aught else than in that which already sur- 
rounds them so closely here below that 
throughout Eternity it can never be brought 
nearer to them — in the Infinite. And thus 
does the poor child of Eternity, cast forth 
from his native home, and surrounded on 
all sides by his heavenly inheritance which 
yet his trembling hand fears to grasp, 
wander with fugitive and uncertain step 
throughout the waste, everywhere labouring 
to establish for himself a dwelling place, 
but happily ever reminded, by the speedy 
downfall of each of his successive habita- 
tions, that he can find peace nowhere but 
in his Father's house." 

Finally, speaking of how completely doubt 
and uncertainty are eliminated from the life 
of him who through the realisation of the 
truth we have set forth becomes thereby 
centred in the Infinite, he says: "The 
Religious man is forever secured from the 
possibility of doubt and uncertainty. In 
every moment he knows distinctly what he 



70 THE GREATEST THING 

wills, and ought to will; for the innermost 
root of his life — his will — forever flows forth 
from the Divinity, immediately and without 
the possibility of error ; its indication is in- 
fallible, and for that indication he has an 
infallible perception. In every moment he 
knows that in all Eternity he shall know 
what he shall will, and ought to will ; that 
in all Eternity the fountain of Divine Love 
which has burst forth in him shall never 
be dried up, but shall uphold him securely 
and bear him on forever." 

Such, then, in general, are fragments of 
the thought, and, let it be added, the ripest 
thought, of one who has exerted perhaps as 
great a direct influence upon the life of his 
own immediate as well as succeeding ages as 
any man who has ever lived. It is to Fichte 
that, to a very great extent, the German Em- 
pire owes the splendid educational system 
it has to-day. His thought began to exert 
its influence at the time when its educational 
system was falling into a state of chaos, and 
even the Empire itself by virtue of its recent 
losses was in a more or less uncertain 
condition. And, acting to a greater or less 
extent through the minds of Froebel and 



EVER KNOWN 71 

Pestalozzi, his thought has aided in giving 
to the world the truest type of education 
it has yet seen, that that we know under 
the name kindergarten, which is slowly but 
surely working to revolutionise our present 
educational methods, which stand so sadly 
in need of a change even so radical. 

If the truth and vitality of a man's thought 
are to be judged by its permanent as well as 
its immediate influence, surely the thought 
of Fichte found its life in the realms of the 
highest truth, through which alone real 
vitality comes, for it has exerted and is still 
exerting a most powerful life-giving influence, 
an influence, indeed, that will never end. 



72 THE GREATEST THING 



SUSTAINED IN PEACE AND SAFETY FOREVER 

A T what now have we arrived, and what 
has been the process? From our 
own reason and insight, independently of 
all outside authority, we have found the 
great truth that a living insight into the 
fact of the essential unity of the human 
life with the Divine Life is the profoundest 
knowledge that man can attain to. This 
as a mere intellectual perception, however, 
as a mere dead theory, amounts to but 
little, if indeed, to anything at all, as far as 
bearing fruit in every-day life is concerned. 
It is the vital, living realisation of this 
great transcendent truth in the life of each 
one that makes it a mighty moving and 
moulding force in his life. 

Then we have also found that this same 
great truth was the great central fact of 
both the life and the teachings of one 
who comes as authority to practically all 
the world, the Christ Jesus. That this was 



EVER KNOWN ^i 

the one great truth in which he continually 
lived, that it was the secret of his unusual 
insight and power, and that it was also the 
great truth that he came to bring to the 
world, he distinctly tells us. That it was 
not only what he proclaimed that he came 
to teach, but also what he distinctly taught, 
we have likewise found. 

We have found also that the ripest life 
thought of the philosopher Fichte — whose 
spiritual vision was so fully unfolded as 
to enable him to give to the world such 
a remarkable blending of the intellectual 
and the spiritual in his philosophy — was 
almost if not identically the same in refer- 
ence to this great truth, as was also his 
thought in regard to the life and the power 
as well as the mission of Jesus. 

And when I see day after day the wonder- 
ful results that follow in the lives of those 
who have entered into this living realisation, 
then I know that Jesus knew whereof he 
spoke when he gave the injunction, "Seek 
ye first the kingdom of God and his righteous- 
ness, and all these things shall be added 
unto you." Moreover, I do not believe, but 



74 THE GREATEST THING 

/ know^ that whoever through this realisa- 
tion thus finds the kingdom of God will 
find his words — that all else will follow 
— literally and absolutely as well as neces- 
sarily true. All will follow in a perfectly 
natural and normal manner, in full accord- 
ance with natural spiritual law. 

He who goes thus directly to the mountain 
top will find all things spread out before 
him in the valley below. He who thus 
becomes centred in the Infinite will find 
that to the same centre whence his inner 
life issues, all things pertaining to his outer 
material life will in turn be drawn. The 
beauty of holiness is one with the beauty 
of wholeness. To know but the One Life 
is to live in the fact and the beauty of 
wholeness; and where wholeness is, there 
no lack of anything will be found. 

If what we ordinarily term our Christian 
churches, and if the preachers who stand 
in their pulpits, would fully and universally 
give themselves to the real message that 
Jesus gave to the world, then we would 
find that "the common people" would go 
to them and hear them gladly ; there would 
then be no hard pressing social situation to 



EVER KNOWN 75 

face, for the people would then have a living 
knowledge of the one great truth through 
which all other things would come. 

This great transcendent truth, however, 
that was the very essence of the life and the 
teachings of Jesus, has been even in our 
churches as good as rooted out and lost. 
And shall we conclude that because it is prac- 
tically lost the greater part of the time and at- 
tention of the preacher in the large majority 
of them is given to the empty, barren, incon- 
sequential themes it is given to? Or is it 
because so much time and attention is given 
to the latter that there is no time left for the 
former? However this may be, it certainly is 
true that that to a greater or less extent to-day 
we find identically the same conditions that 
Jesus found, and that he continually tried so 
hard to do away with. " Full well," said he, 
"ye reject the commandment of God, that 
ye may keep your own tradition." 

Many a student comes from our theologi- 
cal schools so steeped in theological specu- 
lations and in denominational dogmas that 
he hasn't the slightest conception of what 
the real mission of Jesus was. What 
wonder, then, that the church to which he 



76 THE GREATEST THING 

goes soon becomes a dead shell from which 
the life has gone, into which those in love 
with life will no longer enter, a church whose 
chief concern very soon is, how to raise the 
minister's stipend? But once let these minor 
and inconsequential, not to say at times petty, 
foolish, and absurd, things be dropped, and 
let all time and attention be given to the 
great central truth that Jesus brought to the 
world, and we shall find that during the next 
one hundred years, ay, during the next fifty 
years, what will then be real Christianity 
will make more progress than what is now 
termed Christianity has made during all the 
nineteen hundred years it has been in the 
world. The fact that during all these 
hundreds of years it has not accomplished 
more than it has is quite good evidence 
that something essential is lacking in it. 

The real soul-cry even of all Christendom 
to-day is the same as the injunction given by 
the native ministers of Japan to a noted 
representative of the Christian religion as he 
was leaving there not long ago : " Send us 
no more doctrines : we are tired of them. 
Send us Christ." And the only way that 
Christ can be sent is by sending the great 



EVER KNOWN 77 

central truth that he brought to the world, a 
truth so world-wide^ so universal^ that, so far 
even as the so-called various great religions 
are concerned, in regard to it there can be 
no differences, for from its very nature it is 
at the very foundation, indeed, the very life 
essence, of them all. And so it is true in this 
sense that there is essentially but one religion, 
the religion of the living God. For to live 
in the conscious realisation of the fact that 
God lives in us, is indeed the life of our life, 
and that in ourselves we have no independent 
life, and hence no power, is the one great 
fact of all true religion, even as it is the one 
great fact of human life. Religion, therefore, 
at its purest, and life at its truest, are essenti- 
ally and necessarily one and the same. 

It is only through this living realisation of 
the essential unity of our life with the Father's 
life that true blessedness, and even true 
peace and happiness, can be found. The 
sooner, then, that we come into it, and thus 
live the life of the spirit, the better, for 
neither will they come nor can they be found 
in any other way. There is, moreover, no 
time either in this form of life, or in any 
other form, when we can any more readily 



78 THE GREATEST THING 

come into It, and thereby into all that follows, 
than we can at this very moment. And 
when this fountain of Divine Life is once 
fully opened within us, it can never again 
be dried up, and we can rest assured that it 
will at all times uphold us in peace and 
bear us on in safety. And however strange 
or unaccountable at times occurrences may 
appear, we can rest in a triumphant security, 
knowing that only good can come, for in 
God's life there is only good, and in God's 
life we are now living, and there we shall 
live forever. 



EVER KNOWN 79 



A Method 

There is a simple method which will aid 
us greatly in coming into the realisation we 
have been considering. So simple is it that 
thousands and indeed millions have passed 
it by, looking, as is so generally our custom, 
for agencies of at least apparently greater 
power; we so frequently and so universally 
forget that the greatest things in life are 
the most simple. 

The method is this : wherever you are, 
whatever doing, walking along the street or 
through the fields, at work of any kind, falling 
off to or awaking from sleep, setting about 
any undertaking, in doubt as to what course 
to pursue at any particular time, in brief, 
whatever it may be, carry with you this 
thought: It is the Father that worketh in 
me, my Father works and I work. This 
is the thought so continually used by Jesus, 
who came into probably the fullest realisation 
of the oneness of his life with the God-life 
that any one who has lived in the world 
thus far has come into, and it is given 



8o THE GREATEST THING 

because it is so simple. From it each can 
make his own formula. Jesus' term was 
"the Father." Many will likewise find 
themselves naturally using the same term 
and will find it becoming very precious to 
them. Others will find themselves using 
other terms for the same conception and 
thought : It is the Father that worketh in 
me, my Father works and I work. In other 
words, It is the spirit of Infinite Life and 
Power that is behind all, working in and 
through all, the life and animating power 
of all, — God, — that worketh in me, and I 
do as I am directed and empowered by It. 
In this way we open ourselves, and become 
consciously awake to the Infinite Life and 
Power that is ever waiting and ready to 
direct and work in our lives, if we will merely 
put ourselves into the attitude whereby It 
can work in them. In this way we open 
ourselves so that It can speak and manifest 
to and through us. This It is ever ready 
to do if we will but make for It the right 
conditions. By carrying with us this 
thought, by holding ourselves in this attitude 
of mind consciously for a while, by repeating 
it even in so many words now and then at 



EVER KNOWN 8i 

first, we will find it in time becoming our 
habitual thought, and will find ourselves 
living in it without the conscious effort that 
we have to make at first, and we will in time 
find ourselves almost unconsciously living in 
it continually. Thus God as a living pres- 
ence, as a guiding, animating power, becomes 
an actuality in our lives. The conscious 
presence of God in our lives, which is 
the essence, indeed the sum and substance 
of all religion, then becomes a reality, and 
all wisdom and all power will be given us as 
we are able to appropriate and use them 
wisely; if for merely selfish, personal ends, 
they will be withheld ; if for the greatest aid 
and service for the world, we will find them 
continually increasing. 

With this higher realisation comes more 
and more the simple, child-like spirit. With 
Jesus we realise — Of myself I can do nothing, 
it is the Father within me that doeth His 
work. In ourselves we are and can do 
nothmg ; in God we can do all things. We 
never can be in the condition — in God — 
until through this higher realisation God 
becomes a conscious^ living reality in our 
lives. 



82 THE GREATEST THING 

Faithfulness to this simple method will 
bring about a complete change in great 
numbers of lives. Each one for himself can 
test its efficacy in a very short time. It is 
the highway upon which many will enter 
and which will take them by easy stages into 
the realisation of the highest life that can be 
attained to. To set one's face in the right 
direction, and then simply to travel on, will 
in time bring him into the realisation of 
the highest life that can be even conceived 
of — it is the secret of all attainment. 



For further suggestions as to the method of entering into 
this higher realisation, as also for a much fuller portrayal of 
its results in every-day life, the reader is directed to the volume 
by the same author entitled, "In Tune with the Infinite; or, 
Fullness of Peace, Power, and Plenty." 




By RALPH WALDO TRINE. 

"The Life Books." 

What All the World's A-Seeking. 

Its purpose is distinctly practical. It is most fas- 
cinatingly written, and deserves the remarkable suc- 
cess it has achieved. — The Review of Reviews. 

The volume abounds in passages of great beauty 
and strength; but the striking feature of the book 
is, after all, the solid, sensible, healthy exposition of 
the one theme it is written to enforce. — New York 
Independent. 

This is a book among a thousand for its inspiring 
message, and is eminently worthy of a vast audience. 
You will miss much if you miss reading its truth- 
laden pages. — Cumberland Presbyterian. 

In Tune With the Infinite. 

It is one of the simplest, clearest ^vorks ever writ- 
ten, dealing with the power of the interior forces in 
moulding the every-day conditions of life. — San 
Francisco Bulletin. 

... It immediately suggests the works of Drum- 
mond, but shows a decided advance upon the ground 
Avhich he made familiar to mankind ; it not only re- 
veals the author's recognition of spiritual law, but in 
certain instances shows his rare and remarkable un- 
derstanding of the nature and action of such law; 
the preface alone shows his high intuition, and the 
book proves his ability to achieve his purpose in a 
marvellous degree. — Boston Daily Evening Tran- 
script. 

Mr. Trine can write well upon such topics as this. 
He is alive, vigorous, cheery, confident. The work 
has distinctiveness in its style and method. — The 
Literary Worlds Londoii. 



The above books are beautifully and durably bound 

in gray-green raised cloth, statnfed in deep 

old-green and gold y with gilt top. 

Price, $/.25 per volume. 



THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO.. 

NEW YORK. 



By RALPH WALDO TRINE. 

The " Life" Booklets. 

The Greatest Thing Ever Known. 

The moment we fully and vitally realize -who and 
what we are Ave then begin to build our own world 
even as God builds His. — From Title-page. 

... It unfolds the secret of our underlying- 
strength, and shows what it is that gives us power 
to fulfil the real and living purooses of our being. 
— The New Christianity. 

Every Living Creature. 

The tender and humane passion in the human 
heart is too precious a quality to allow it to be 
hardened or effaced by practices such as we so often 
indulge in. — From Title-page. 

An eloquent appeal and an able argument for 
justice and mercy to our dumb fellow-creatures. A 
good book for those whose characters are being 
formed, and for all who love justice and right. — 
Religio-Philosophical journal. 

Character-Building Thought Power. 

A thought, good or evil, an act, in time a habit, 
so runs life's law; what you live in your thought- 
world, that, sooner or later, you w'll find objectified 
in your life. — From Title-page. 

In " Character-Building Thought Power" Mr. 
Trine demonstrates the power of mental habits, 
and shows how by daily effort we may train our- 
selves into right ways of thinking ar i acting. His 
teachings are sound, practical, and of priceless 
worth. — Albany Press. 



Bound in an exceedingly attractive and handy 
form. Price, S5 cents per volume. 



THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO., 

NEW YORK. 



14 DAY USE 

RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED 

EDUCATION-PSYCHOLOGY 
LIBRARY 

This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 

on the date to which renewed. 

Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 



JUL 2 2 REC'D- Wii 



MOV 28 1972 



DEC 88 1972 



DEC 1 g REC'D -9 / 



M- 



SEP 1 Q 1974 



8ECD ORC C^T SEPi feV* 



SEP 1 8 REC'D -9 A!y 



OU r 2 1992 



SUBJECT TO RECALL 



LD 21A-30m-6.'67 
(H2472sl0)476 



General Library 

University of California 

Berkeley 




CD5TMTi2c,(^ 






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